CHICAGO (CBS) — A major athletic shoe manufacturer will underwrite basketball skills clinics and fall leagues this autumn at eight neighborhood parks across the city.
Chicago Bulls Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen joined Park District General Supt. Mike Kelly in making the announcement, before the championship game for the summer Chi-League Parks competition at Whitney Young High School.
“It’s exciting, really,” Pippen said. “It’s really giving the kids something to do.”
Kelly said giving Chicago teens basketball leagues gets them out of the street and away from trouble.
One such player is Jawan, who is 12 and hopes someday, after a growth spurt or two, to follow in Pippen’s footsteps.
“It’s been making me work hard and be competitive against the other people we play,” he said.
Jawan said this summer’s clinics have improved both his dribbling and his shooting.
More than 1,000 boys ages nine through 18 took part in this summer’s clinics, underwritten by Nike. Kelly said he is in negotiations with Nike to extend the clinics into 2014, and said he would be surprised if they are not extended again.